Limpopo’s health MEC is liable to compensate a Tzaneen man who was left with a deformed left arm and hand because of inadequate treatment at a state hospital after he injured his arm in a quad bike accident nine years ago, a North Gauteng High Court judge has ruled.
Acting Judge S Kekana ruled in Pretoria that the MEC must pay for such damages as Mark Amos could prove. Amos was treated at the Letaba Provincial Hospital after the accident, in which he sustained a dislocated elbow and two badly fractured bones in his left forearm.
The only treatment he initially received was to suture the cuts on his arm and place half of the arm in plaster of Paris. He later underwent two operations to the arm, the first being performed by a general practitioner with only two years’ experience, and the second by the hospital’s orthopaedic surgeon.
Despite the operations, the bones in his arm were still fractured and his elbow dislocated when he was discharged. He was left with a chronically dislocated left elbow, a chronic fracture in one of the bones in his forearm and a markedly restricted range of movement in his elbow.
The MEC opposed the claim, arguing that the accident had caused Amos’s deformity and not the treatment he received.